There were two top 20 finishes and a second in class for Wigtownshire crews on Saturday’s RSAC Scottish Rally in Dumfries.
Newton Stewart’s Craig McMiken – in a Mitsubishi EVO 9 – ended the day 17th overall , and Fraser Wilson and Steven Broll from Port William were 20th in their CMS Motorsport Group N EVO 6. Both moved up a few places in the Scottish championship points once non-registered drivers ahead of them were taken out of the equation.
McMiken, re-united with co-driver Christine Sanderson from Berwickshire, had a relatively trouble-free run and summed it up as having been “a very good day”.
Apart from the first stage, the pair were never out of the top 20. Their best results were on SS2 Windy Hill, where they were 13th fastest, and the short spectator stage at Heathhall, where they shared 13th spot.
Wilson and Broll picked up the pace as the day wore on – and survived two punctures. They were ninth fastest through Heathhall and 15th quickest on the preceding six-miles of Castle O’er.
“We were too slow on the morning stages but got into our stride,” said Wilson. “Otherwise, we had a couple of close cuts, but nothing to worry about. We could have done without a puncture three miles before the end of the last stage though!”
In the 2WD categories, Mark McCulloch celebrated his return to the Scottish championship with a second in class in his Peugeot 205GTi. After a disappointing start to this year’s BRC Challenge campaign, the Newton Stewart driver has decided to abandon the series, and concentrate instead on “re-honing” his driving skills in the 205 – a car in which he won the Scottish Junior Championship in 2008.
“It’s been great today,” enthused McCulloch, who was accompanied by his BRC Challenge co-driver Elliot Edmondson. “I can safely say it was the most enjoyable run I’ve had in a rally car all year.”
Minnigaff navigator Laura Marshall and Carluke driver Graeme Smith overcame early drive-shaft problems in their Honda Civic to end the day fourth in class and 31st overall.
Another Newton Stewart man, Alec Curran, co-driven by Dave McGeoch from Dumfries, marked his second outing of the year in his Vauxhall Corsa with a 42nd place finish – but importantly – picked up valuable points in the Five of Clubs Championship.
At the top end of the leaderboard, triple Scottish champion David Bogie powered to his fourth victory of the season, but he had to work for it.
The 24-year-old, co-driven by Kevin Rae, led from start to finish in his Mitsubishi EVO 9 – ending the day 50 seconds ahead of Borderer Euan Thorburn in a Ford Focus WRC, who had charged up the leaderboard after losing more than a minute on the opening stage when his car cut out.
In third, a further seven seconds back, were last year’s event winners Jock Armstrong and Kirsty Riddick, the Castle Douglas driving returning to the MSA Scottish Rally Championship after an 11-month lay-off in his newly-rebuilt Subaru Impreza.
At the finish in Dumfries town centre, a delighted Bogie said the outcome could have been much closer.
“When you look at the result it might appear easier than it was,” said Bogie. “Obviously Euan had his troubles on the first stage and dropped a fair bit of time. We had a really good run through and we just kept up the pace. But the competition has been hot all day. Jock went very well, given he has been out of the car for so long, so it’s been good. The stages were difficult – they were very slippy – and it was easy to make a mistake. We visited a couple of ditches ourselves, so it wasn’t plain sailing by any means. But the result makes up for last year when we got a puncture almost within sight of the finish. To win your home rally on these stages, it’s first class.”
There were cheers all round as long-time absentee Armstrong, along with fellow 2011 Scottish winner Riddick, were piped to the finish to receive their third place trophies.
“It’s been a really good battle,” said the Castle Douglas driver. “I think anybody would give their right arm to be third here today – especially with the competition from David and Euan, so I’m really pleased.”
The sixth round of the MSA Scottish Rally Championship is the Gleaner Oil & Gas Speyside Stages based in Elgin on 4th August.
For news and updates of all SRC events, go to www.scottishrallychampionship.co.uk
1 David Bogie (Dumfries)/Kevin Rae (Hawick) Mitsubishi EVO 9 42 mins 07 secs
3 Jock Armstrong (Castle Douglas)/Kirsty Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Subaru Impreza 43.04
4 Mike Faulkner (Kirtlebridge)/Peter Foy (Bingley) Mitsubishi EVO 6 43.39
17 Craig McMiken (Newton Stewart)/Christine Sanderson (Cornhill) Mitsubishi EVO 9 46.34
20 Fraser Wilson (Port William)/Steven Broll (Port William) Mitsubishi EVO 6 47.17
25 Ian Paterson (Mouswald)/Jim Haugh (Sandhead) Subaru Impreza N10 48.08
31 Graeme Smith (Carluke)/Laura Marshall (Newton Stewart) Honda Civic 49.04
32 Iain Haining (Dumfries)/Mairi Riddick (Haugh of Urr) Vauxhall Nova 49.07
34 Stuart Paterson (Dumfries)/Colin Maxwell (Subaru Impreza) 49.39
37 Richard Stewart (Dumfries)/Carin Logan (Kelso) Subaru Impreza 50.16
38 Mark McCulloch (Newton Stewart)/Elliot Edmonson (Olney) Peugeot 205GTi 50.23
39 Lee Hastings (Collin)/Brian Findon (Dumfries) Subaru Impreza 50.58
40 Greg Pollock (Cumnock)/Kenny Marchbank (Thornhill) Subaru Impreza 51.21
42 Alec Curran (Newton Stewart)/David McGeoch (Dumfries) Vauxhall Corsa 52.08
44 Tam Brown (Boreland)/Mike Curry (Dumfries) Peugeot 205 52.46
45 Robert Paterson (Dumfries)/Neil Richardson (Kingston-on-Thames) Ford Escort Mk2 53.04
51 Mike Hunter (Dumfries)/James McWhir (Carlisle) Lada Samara 54.06
53 Rob Ashwell (Fyvie)/Stephen Marshall (Newton Stewart) Citreon C2R2 54.28
57 Scott Peacock (Bridge of Dee)/Roger Alcorn (Castle Douglas) Peugeot 205 55.34